Tue, Feb 27, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Tiafoe wins first ATP Tour title in Delray Beach

AFP, MIAMI

Frances Tiafoe of the US returns to Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk in the Delray Beach Open men’s singles final in Delray Beach, Florida, on Sunday.

Photo: AP

Wild-card Frances Tiafoe on Sunday captured his first title, defeating Peter Gojowczyk in the Delray Beach Open final to become the youngest American to win an ATP Tour title in 15 years.

The 20-year-old Tiafoe toppled the German in straight sets, winning 6-1, 6-4 as he continued his successful start to the season which has seen him beat the likes of Juan Martin del Potro, Chung Hye-on and Denis Shapovalov.

“I can’t believe it,” Tiafoe said. “If you had asked me 10 years ago if I could win a title at 20 I would have laughed. It’s unbelievable.”

His win marks the youngest by an American since Andy Roddick won in Houston in 2002 aged 19.

“I got a lot of love this week. I am really happy I got over that line,” Tiafoe said. “It is going to be a good night. The next couple of days I am going to enjoy this.”

Gojowczyk has been a thorn in the side of the Americans on the ATP Tour for some time.

Going into the final he held an eight-match winning streak over US opponents.

He reached the Florida final by beating John Isner, Steve Johnson and Reilly Opelka as his maiden title capped off the best two weeks of his young career.

“He beat all the Americans, so I am happy I stopped that,” Tiafoe said.

Tiafoe hammered 13 aces and won 89 percent of his first-serve points in the 61-minute match.

Gojowczyk, 28, had his serve broken four times and earned just nine points on his second serve.

Tiafoe reached the final by beating Shapovalov in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4. He upset world No. 10 and second seed Del Potro in the second round 6-2, 6-4.

“Del Potro was my idol growing up,” Tiafoe said.

RIO OPEN

Reuters, RIO DE JANEIRO

Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman on Sunday ended a two-year wait for his second ATP Tour title as he overpowered an exhausted Fernando Verdasco to win the Rio Open 6-2, 6-3.

The world No. 23 was in commanding form against an opponent who appeared to run out of puff after reaching both the singles and doubles finals in Rio.

“I was very patient, solid, intense. I knew he was very tired as he had played both singles and doubles,” Schwartzman said of his opponent who won the doubles final on Saturday. “It’s been two years since I’ve won a tournament so I am very happy. It was a perfect week for me.”

OPEN 13 PROVENCE

AFP, PARIS

Russia’s Karen Khachanov on Sunday claimed his second career title when he beat France’s Lucas Pouille 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 in the final of the Open 13 Provence.

The 21-year-old Khachanov, the Dubai-based world No. 47, won his maiden title in Chengdu, China, in 2016.

Khachanov hit 16 aces in the 1 hour, 49 minute clash to deny Pouille, who was the champion in nearby Montpellier just two weeks ago.

“It’s the second title in my career, so I am extremely happy,” Khachanov said. “I just need to keep working and keep going. I think both of us played a good match, really solid, and just a few points made the difference.”

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